Modesty in Modern Culture: Why Veronica is Right and Victoria is Wrong

Modesty in Modern Culture: Why Veronica is Right and Victoria is Wrong
January 22, 2015 Matthew L. Jacobson

matthewljacobson-com_whyveronicaThe audacity of Veronica Partridge is something to behold. She just won’t leave well enough alone.

With one small article she managed to

1) not judge anyone

2) be honest about her own behavior and how she had decided to change

3) take responsibility for how her actions might negatively impact someone else

She didn’t use the “M” word – modesty – but, she may as well have, as if that principle has any relevance for Christian women.

It’s alarming but don’t worry, the storm troopers are on it here, and here.

Okay, so I’m being a little sarcastic but, it’s getting ridiculous.

Show up with your personal standards and you are automatically deemed to be judging others who don’t share your conviction. And when you say, “I’m not judging others, this is my personal conviction,” you are automatically deemed to be judging others who don’t share your conviction.

Why? Because there is one value you can’t challenge in a society that has systematically removed God from the public square: No one has the right to oppose any opinion I may hold and any hint that you suggest otherwise threatens my truth.

It’s as if the 21st Century has turned everyone into Napoleon Dynamite.

          “What are you going to do today, Napoleon?”

          “Whatever I want! GOSH!”

There is a degree of logic, here. Take God out of the picture and all bets are off. Without a moral law or restraint outside of myself, I can do whatever I want as long as you don’t have the power and will to stop me.

If someone wants to get her tee shirt out of a can of paint and spray it on, whose business is that? (insert relevant male example here)

Follow the logic and it’s pretty easy to make an argument for no clothes, at all.

That’s ridiculous!

No it isn’t. If the basis of the position is, I can dress how I want. I dress like this because it makes me feel comfortableYou’re the one with the problem, you have the responsibility not to look and lust, then who’s to say where the line is to be drawn?

Which raises an interesting question, if Lady Godiva came riding naked into town on her horse, is she the one with the problem or is it all the men who won’t stop looking when a strong gust of wind blows her hair behind her back?

Wearing your underwear in public? (what else should you call clothing that displays every nook and cranny) . . . no big deal but, you probably shouldn’t be naked in public, should you? It gets confusing if God’s not involved.

But God is involved.

He said in the Bible to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9). And everyone of us will give an account, one day, when we stand before Him of how we dressed and how we looked lustfully at others.

From God’s perspective, the responsibility for all aspects of this issue runs both directions.

Those who wish to argue walking down the street in your underwear is no big deal and it’s okay if Victoria doesn’t have any Secrets, plastering pictures of women in sexy bras all over their windows, will have to take it up with God. You’re argument is with Him and you’ll definitely get your chance. (Hebrews 9:27)

A moment ago, it was said that God is involved but, He’s not the only one. Someone else is involved, too: My 12 year-old son.

A couple of months ago, he came to me, distraught that from seemingly nowhere, he was suddenly struck with a deep sense of awareness and interest in girls . . . and not just girls, generally, but very (very) specifically, right down to the curves . . . all of them. I immediately hugged him and told him how great it all was – that it was completely normal, natural, and good. Son, you’re in the process of becoming a man and I think that’s awesome!

Now, about those specifics, and the argument that it’s all on the guy, or on the girl, as the case may be – modesty runs both directions – I ask a simple question: Should young boys coming of age bear all the responsibility for the moral struggles they face? Does any degree of responsibility lay elsewhere?

My son and I are having some deep conversations about lust, the enemy’s counterfeit of God’s best, the responsibility to exercise self-control, and averting our eyes at appropriate times. He is being taught his responsibility to walk uprightly. I’m teaching him how to do battle in a world that often doesn’t care about purity, modesty, and respect for women.

But, I’m hoping that you, too, care about the impact you may be having on my young son . . . all the young sons . . . who are becoming sexually aware young men. If you’ve not thought about modesty and how the way you dress affects a young boy entering puberty, would you be willing to consider these things?

We live in community. I’m striving to do my part as his dad. Will you consider the positive part you can play? We may never meet but that doesn’t mean you’re not having a major impact on a young boy somewhere.

No one is advocating burqas before breakfast but don’t buy into the spirit of the age that says however sexy you dress makes no difference because, friend, I can tell you, it matters a great deal to a 12 year-old boy who is becoming a man and desires to be a loving, faithful husband and father some day.

And that’s really all Veronica Partridge was trying to say – one’s choices can, and do affect others.

‘Thank you” to all the thoughtful women out there, for thinking of others and, in essence, for thinking of my son.

~Matthew

*That’s how I see it. What’s your perspective? 

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54 Comments

  1. jeffrey carl 3 months ago

    Thank you for a very thoughtful and restrained article.

  2. liesel 2 years ago

    i didnt read the original article but really admire the way you are raising your son – my son is only 2 so it gave me a good deal to think about for later. i think every one knows deep down whats acceptable and what isnt, once you have children your eyes open a lot wider when you ask yourself would i want my child acting or dressing like this.

  3. nickels 3 years ago

    Making this whole issue about men’s lust is not fair.
    I might want to see one thing in the bedroom, another on the street. I am not an animal going around in heat. I resent being thought of that way. Leggings are gross. Folds and bizarre fat deposits are not something I want to see either walking down the street or in the grocery store. I dont want to see you brushing up against the counter I am about to touch with almost nothing on. How do I know you arent sweating through those thin things?
    Again, what is hot in the bedroom is not hot on the street and I am not an animal in heat.

  4. Lottie 3 years ago

    I find the entire conversation ironic considering I also hear people complain about having to see women in hijabs too. It’s too much clothing, it’s not enough clothing……it just really, really is up to the individual and their personal style. I agree with one woman who commented that it was worrying to her that somehow women are responsible for “causing” a man’s thoughts. Did you know that women wearing a burqa get sexually harassed in other countries? I think we can all agree that a burqa is about as modest as you can get. Yet, these women deal with getting ogled, cat calls, sexual harassment and rape. You know why? Not because they weren’t dressed modest enough, but because some people believe men (and sometimes women) are not responsible for their own thoughts and actions.

    If I see a guy jogging down the street without a shirt and I can’t control my thoughts, it doesn’t mean that men should only wear shirts while jogging because of me. But if a woman has awesome legs and is rocking a short skirt, and some teenager has thoughts and some don’t at all, I don’t think it has anything to do with her at all. If we women all wore sheets around and a stiff wind showed an ankle, then here we go again.
    I can’t control anyone’s thoughts, good or bad, and it’s not my job.

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      You’re right, you can’t control the thoughts of others but you can control your own behavior, which has an impact on others. The extremes are easy to mock. Love combined with wisdom says, “I’ll consider how I am impacting others.” That’s a far cry from suggesting sheets for everyone. And for the record, anyone who suggests men aren’t responsible for their actions is trading in idiocy.

      • Lottie 3 years ago

        Individual behavior does indeed have an impact on others, but how far should we restrain and conform ourselves to everyone else’s taste before people are happy? The term, “You can’t make everyone happy” seems fitting here, because it’s true. I also don’t like leggings (without a tunic) in public, but for an entirely different reason. It offends my fashion sensibilities, which are my thoughts and opinions about fashion. I would never dare to stipulate that others dress so I am not offended. Fashion is an expression of the individual self, and when it comes down to it a first amendment right of free speech and self expression. That is one of the loveliest things about our country is that even if you say or do something offensive to me and my beliefs, you are still allowed to do it.

        You know who doesn’t agree with that, and also finds leggings in public, too much skin etc offensive? About a dozen or more Middle Eastern countries with laws toward women’s fashion who are religious just like yourself. It offends them and they did something about it. Dictating other people’s lives to suit your own is a slippery slope. I know you will probably loathe the comparison, and it’s not in regard to anything other than people’s religious beliefs affecting how they think others should dress.

    • Catherine 2 months ago

      YES, this. Some(not many, one hopes)men have a weakness for cullottes with sneakers and socks. The girls wearing those are not responsible for the guy’s quirk.

  5. Becky 3 years ago

    I agree 100%. Thank you for posting. I got attacked the past couple days for posting my beliefs . . . My post also received a lot of positive comments, but the critics were mean. They fit the description you wrote: “No one has the right to oppose any opinion I may hold and any hint that you suggest otherwise threatens my truth.” The sad thing was, these were fellow Christians on Facebook groups with people who share my faith in God. I was saddened to see the moral relativism, people thinking there is no right or wrong, and excusing their actions based on a variety of things. Like the leggings post, I am not here to condemn or criticize or offend. I was simply sharing doctrine from my Church to support people wanting to live that standard, and inviting others to think about their own hearts and actions. I appreciated you posting your thoughts on this legging post, and it gives me strength to do what I feel is right, even if I get some persecution from fellow believers for it.

  6. Melyssa 3 years ago

    As a young 23 year old woman newly married, I am so thankful for these articles! In the past I never thought much about it I was in community college and would go to their gym after class. My last quarter i had a scary wakening to the way I impacted the men around me. I would often were yoga pants (leggings) to school for less packing on the bus, I stopped after being followed home by a man. (praise God nothing happened!) This is a real fight you can not let the world push you into thinking this is okay. Thank you for your words that need to be heard!

  7. Kelly 3 years ago

    This article rings so true. This crazy world has forgotten just plain decency and respect of others and has traded it in for self-righteousness and entitlement. What is even more discouraging is that while this attitude is no surprise coming from the world’s standards–This mentality and lack of care has snuck into the church and has taken root. We no longer care for our brothers and sisters in Christ–let alone those of the world. These are sad days indeed.

  8. Melody 3 years ago

    What a great article in response to Veronica Partridge’s blog post. I read her post after seeing it on a Christian friends Facebook page totally bashing it. I was so disappointed in many Christian’s response to her blog post. I feel bad for her and have been praying for her. I don’t totally see eye to eye with her with all of it but I respect her position and the root of it being in humility and out of love for the Body of Christ. She communicated well and in grace and I believe she was persecuted for it. It’s not the kind of persecution others are enduring in other countries but she was attacked for righteousness sake. I read a previous article about her past struggle with anxiety and panic attacks and I have been praying for her that this doesn’t bring on anxiety for her. Our world – and even the Christians in our world – can be cruel.

  9. Amy 3 years ago

    You are right, we all will stand before God and give account for what we did, not what anyone else did, wore, said or thought. And we all know we live in a world that rejects Gods and in the end, will suffer the judgment of God for it. So the bible isn’t a road map back to the garden of Adam and Eve. But a road map to understanding who God is, what his nature is and how to have a relationship with him. And hopefully thrive on this earth till we finally leave the confines of this realm. So when you point out the obvious state of men and women in our society who have rejected God, what good does it really do for the Christian? Your son, is being raised to be a Christian man in a fallen world and it’s a tough, tough job. I know, I have a 9yo son. But like it or not, the world around him will not reflect his values. And for the Christian women in his life, I am sure he will see allot more modesty from them. And for those women like Veronica, that’s great. They do see their role in how they affect those around them. But in the grocery store, parking lots, office, gym, etc. he’s going to see everything. And unless you deeply shelter him, he’s going to be exposed to it. I hate to sound harsh but I think as Christians we tend to point out the obvious about the fallen world we live in and wallow in the victimization of it. We hammer and fire away with scripture, finger wagging all the way about all that is wrong with the world. And ya know what, we are right. But it isn’t the judgment of God that brings sinners to repentance, it’s the goodness of God that does. And we are His hands and feet.

    My son and your son is going to deal with allot. Pornography being the worst of it all. So the tight yoga pants will pale in comparison. I agree, modesty would do wonders for our society. But as Christian men and women, if all we can do is squabble over the details of modesty and tight pants, we’ve lost sight of the millions of souls in front of us that don’t know the love of God. Sow a hunger for souls in your son. Sow a deep, deep understanding that the world we live in is so, so far from the love of God that is needed a savior to redeem us. A savior who loved us so much he died an unimaginable death just for the chance to you might turn your eyes to Him.

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      Amy,

      Thank you for your thoughts. My oldest son is in his third year of college on the east coast. Teaching him his responsibility and his sisters (the oldest of which just returned from 3 months in Europe) theirs does not in any way compromise the gospel, as you seem to imply. A holistic view of Scripture sees all of these various aspects of life as connected and emanating (in their proper context) from a desire to be obedient to Christ. The short length of a blog article necessarily precludes addressing every related issue. I do appreciate your zeal for the Gospel.

  10. marija 3 years ago

    You say that the responsibility runs both ways. I find it offensive though, that she is taking on this responsibility while her husband takes none, whatsoever… Blaming other women for wearing leggings….
    Women and their clothing are deemed responsible for everything under the sun. As a rape survivor (and I was not at any point dressed immodestly) I feel angry reading Veronica’s post… It feels only a few short steps away from victim-blaming to me…

    Strictly speaking I don’t think this is even a matter of being Christian or modest.. It is about taste and class… Ffs.. I wear legging all the time, but I wear tops that almost reach down to my knees on top on them… Yea, leggings are comfy I agree.. But you still need to throw on a tee-shirt/top/whatever….while you’re at it, make sure it is long and loose enough to not make it seem you left the house with your clothes sprayed on..

  11. Joseph 3 years ago

    “Awaiting moderation,” what a joke. Like all Christians you can’t abide the least bit of opposing opinion. It’s sad, but also telling. Clearly you people know in your hearts just how disingenuous your beliefs really are, and you know they cannot stand up to any kind of scrutiny.

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      In an age where people emote rather than engage in a reasoned dialogue, I find moderating the comments on my website not only a prerogative but a service. Please never feel you have to agree to be posted, just civil, the boundaries of which surely you can see that you challenge, no?

    • Joseph,

      What we Christians know in our hearts is that the God of the Universe resides there, and that He loves us with a love that is greater than we can comprehend.

      Right now, my heart aches for you to know His love for YOU. I will be praying that you would open up your heart to the truth that HE IS. As a result, you will find a peace that this world simply cannot give you.

      Praying for you….

  12. Abubakar 3 years ago

    Thank you for this post brother. It is great indeed. I am a Muslim and Islam says exactly the same thing. Women in Islam are urged to wear modestly and also men are urged to lower their gaze. Modest is a two way street, both men and women have play their part. And I also agree with you, atheism has played a very big part in the abandonment of morals and virtue in our generation,

  13. littlekat 3 years ago

    Speaking from a secular point of view, dressing modestly is what I prefer to do. My daughters also dress modestly. My reasoning is the same, but different. When I was younger, (I am 52), I drew many looks and comments from men. Just finding clothing that fit my, shall we say, upwardly generous proportions, was a constant battle. I took to wearing loose fitting tops, because I was sick of being ogled and bothered in what was tailored to fit. Dressing in loose tops and pastel colors clothing helped to alleviate it to some degree. It was not about religion, it was about making my life easier. It was about facing reality. I promise you that my son will never and has never catcalled a woman. He controls his behavior and thoughts, because the right, the moral thing to do, is to avoid making others uncomfortable in their own skin, male or female. He is an atheist, but in order to be at peace with himself, he knows he cannot harass other people. It isn’t about anything except being a decent human being, no matter which side of the eyeballs you are on, religion not required. That includes secular shaming on your part, sir. Reality and common decency dictates that you treat everyone with dignity. Reciprocity has been around a lot longer than the bible. I am sad to think you are teaching your son that I am less of a human being, that my children are not worthy of respect or have little decency just because I/we do not worship a god. I also feel a little sorry that you discount so many people in this world as less than worthy. You are missing so much, and so will your son.

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      Friend, how sad (it truly saddens me) that you conclude my sons children are being taught that you are “less of a human being” – a truly odd statement, especially in light of my statement that I am striving to teach (my sons) to honor and respect women. Indeed, concluding that I teach them “that my (your) children are not worthy of respect is truly a novel inference from what I have written. The Bible requires that we love one another, details of which can be found in 1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John.

      • littlekat 3 years ago

        “Take God out of the picture and all bets are off. Without a moral law or restraint outside of myself, I can do whatever I want as long as you don’t have the power and will to stop me.” I suppose that was the part that had me confused. The part that indicates that indicates that atheists have no values. I know many many atheist women and they volunteer, donate, show incredible kindness and creativity. I have also seen plenty of hedonistic Christians. The fact is, people are people and some of them are exemplary of goodness and decency and some are not. It has been my personal experience that religious affiliation plays no part in human decency.

        • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

          You make an unassailable point: Many people identifying themselves as “Christian” are completely hedonistic. Anyone choosing this moral, however, is doing so contrary to what the Bible teaches making suspect any claim to be a true follower of Jesus. The point I am making is not that “atheists have no values” which would be a claim manifestly false. One of my favorite atheists is (was, sadly) Christopher Hitchens who, by all accounts, was a wonderful family man and was one among myriad examples. Incidentally, his debate with William Lane Craig was not only entertaining but intellectually stimulating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KBx4vvlbZ8 . The point I am making is that if you don’t have an organizing moral principle – i.e. God – you may have morals/values but, they will, necessarily, be of your own making and choice. Here in lies the problem relative to the issue at hand – going naked to purchase groceries (to use an extreme example). I can wear whatever I want if I am the sole source of what is right and moral for me. Another person, disagreeing with my choice, has nothing to appeal to outside of himself. The report of your personal experience is easy to accept. There are many wonderful, moral people about. Translate your “personal experience” into say, a society overrun with radical Islam, and your personal experience would be far different from the one you are now enjoying. Why? Because your and their ideology would collide. At that point, you have nothing to appeal to but your personal ethic, overrun by overwhelming power. A moral outside of our personal experience dictates against such aggression. Which gets us back to clothing choices. I do not get to dress however I choose because of my personal ethic – why else would there be laws against nudist and other lewd displays in public? By the ethic you seem to be espousing, as soon as there are enough votes to change the law, it would be right and moral to wear anything or nothing in public. Regardless of how libertine society chooses to become, the truth will not change. But, again, I fully embrace the reality that many people who don’t believe in God are truly wonderful people.

  14. Susanne 3 years ago

    Why she’s right? You must have missed the dozens of PUBLIC Insta photos she had of herself in plunging necklines, strapless tops etc.

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      Didn’t miss them. The article represents a new perspective – an awakening to a new way of thinking.

  15. Michelle 3 years ago

    Coming from a strictly secular point of view I see value in advocating modest dress. I think Victoria presented her argument well and I admire that she’s taken personal action on her convictions.
    Many people are happy to dictate morality to you while choosing differently in their lives.
    My problem with the current conversation is that it assumes we can somehow control what men THINK.
    I believe each individual is responsible for their own thoughts and actions. How you react inwardly and outwardly to provocation/temptation is the primary mark of a mature and moral life.
    Victoria arrived at her decision by consulting her bible, her church leader, her husband and herself.
    Victoria’s example of how to make a thoughtful, well examined moral choice is what we should focus on.
    Worrying about what might be going on in men’s minds is a very real distraction.
    It interrupts your personal inner conversation with God and puts the focus on the constantly changing standards of man.

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      Michelle,

      I think you meant Veronica. The reference to ‘Victoria’ refers to the store chain, Victoria’s Secret . . . hence the subtitle, ‘Why Veronica is Right and Victoria is Wrong’. Indeed men are responsible for their thought life but is the issue “controlling” what men think or recognizing that one (man or woman) bears responsibility for the degree of influence he/she may wield, at issue? As to your mention of the “primary mark of a mature and moral life”, the point to infer from my article is that young boys, although sexually awakened through no fault of their own, are a long way from the standard of “mature and moral” and need the community’s awareness and assistance (through one’s personal modesty) to avoid unduly and adversely affecting them. The Bible dictates the principle of modesty (for Christians). Standards and application are other matters, being employed by “the mature and moral” in a manner in keeping with the biblical principle.

  16. Jemelene 3 years ago

    Veronica’s original article had an uncomfortable first paragraph with the husband of a friend asking her what she thought of his “hot wife” wearing leggings. This took place after an embarrassing “booty smack”. It’s a multi-layered topic worth discussing politely. To me the saddest part has been the lack of civil discourse.

    The rest of my thoughts on this are here: http://www.nrtoday.com/news/featured/14778249-113/behind-and-beyond-the-leggings-moms

  17. erickajen 3 years ago

    thank you! i love this post! for me, im horrified that someday my son will have to endure the struggles that women around us force upon him. we want our sons and daughters to be pure, when all around is is the flesh of others, tempting. and if anyone has ever been or heard about teenage boys, their hormones are just off the charts, and its hard to control something you JUST became aware of. its not fair to expect it to be all on the shoulders of young men. thats selfish, stuck up and rude to place all the responsibility and blame on men! women play a HUGE roll in this. and sadly, most women dont think about it until they have boys/children of their own, and even then they dont seem to care sometimes. 🙁 so so sad.

  18. Sheila Edeliant 3 years ago

    Agree! And, although I do believe our loyalty to God is our highest motive, it does help to hear these words from Christian men (and ladies) from time to time. 🙂 My husband has been very encouraging to me. Plus, over the years, the Lord has sent an occasional encourager my way in the form of a stranger at the gas station or the grocery store or whatever. He might say, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you? I could tell by the way you dress.” (and our actions and demeanor — male or female — have just as much to do with it, don’t you think?) Or he might say, “I just wanted to let you know I really appreciate how you are dressed. You don’t see that [simple modesty] much these days.” Dress matters for the Christian — and encouragement does, too. 😉 Thank you for yours.

    [And in reference to what Leslie Mallard said about capitals, your comment form is acting a little strange. I’m assuming my comment will post okay since Leslie’s did. :)]

  19. G 3 years ago

    Thank you for this article. I was out for dinner last night and was saddened to seea young woman (probably late teens) wearing a dress that was maybe 2″ below her bottom, and zipped down to below her breasts. I contmplated saying something and she noticed my expression because she zipped up her top as she approached. I wanted to say “you are a beautiful young woman. You don’t need to show all your cleavage for that to be noticed. In fact, it is more beautiful to leave it to the imagination.”. Or “you are worth more than your body.” I dsebated talking to management about it–if the patrons are already in the restaurant and like the food I doubt they will leave if the greeter is dressed attractively but leaves some things covered. I think I will speak up next time. It took away from the dining experience as I found it disturbing that this is the trend in restaurants and my boys have to fight the distractions instead of just enjoy their meal & our time together.

  20. Fresh 3 years ago

    I may have missed something, but who is Victoria?

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      A reference to Victoria’s (doesn’t have any secrets) Secret women’s store, mentioned in the article. (I could have been more direct)

      • Fresh 3 years ago

        What’s wrong with their products in general aside from your distaste at their advertising strategy?

        • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

          No issue that I’m aware of. Many companies sell underclothes in a classy manner (as VS used to do).

  21. Leslie Mallard 3 years ago

    I agree with you in most everything with one notable exception—it is perfectly possible to have strong moral values in the absence of the belief in Jesus, or religion of any sort. While it is my personal experience, and obviously yours, that a belief in G-d, and in your case Jesus, and an adherence to those teachings help us find and follow what we believe to be the, “right,” path, I know plenty of people who do not hold those same beliefs and yet believe every bit as much in the ethics and morals you claim to espouse. Those may be your reasons for choosing modest dress, but it certainly isn’t a requirement for coming to that decision, in the same way that I know plenty of people who do claim to share your religious beliefs who are perfectly comfortable dressing in a way that would make my decidedly not Christian sons blush. (my apologies for the lack of capitalization–for some reason your website won’t accept them, currently)

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      Leslie, thank you so much for your comment. You point out a real problem – people calling themselves “Christian” but failing to live up to Christian values. You are also correct that people can live moral lives without any involvement or interest in any religious system. If I may, you are taking exception to a point I am not making. The problem is that if my morality is nothing more than a construct of my personal choices, then my moral system is constrained only by my fertile imagination and your (another person’s) will/power to challenge or force change upon me. By your calculation (and observation) someone can, and does, arrive at a conservative moral ethic. However, by your same logic, that person’s neighbor can (and does!) arrive at an extremely permissive moral ethic. Further, who is to challenge one or the other as acceptable or unacceptable without an authority outside an individual’s will to power? The logic behind this idea defends equally the person who is modest and the person who finds clothes while grocery shopping a constraint on his personal comfort.

      • Angela Squires 3 years ago

        Matthew, you have made the classic mistake about non-believers and morality. To say that without the seeming ‘absolute’ God ordered morality we can choose to be good or bad is disingenuous at best. Please read this piece, the comments are good too:
        https://richarddawkins.net/2013/09/a-refute-to-morality-from-god/
        People have over centuries and continue today committing horrendous evil in the name of God. There are simply good and bad people; I don’t hold God responsible for either because God is not required for our Universe and his existence is highly unlikely

        • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

          Angela,

          You have made the “classic mistake” of accusing someone of something he hasn’t said. Of course, there is moral behavior apart from a belief in God, as I said in a previous comment, registered below for your interest. The issue is regarding the definition and parameters of morality which, necessarily, must be elastic if there is no unifying moral outside myself to give definition to the categories of right and wrong. Please carefully review this answer to a previous comment:

          You make an unassailable point: Many people identifying themselves as “Christian” are completely hedonistic. Anyone choosing this moral, however, is doing so contrary to what the Bible teaches making suspect any claim to be a true follower of Jesus. The point I am making is not that “atheists have no values” which would be a claim manifestly false. One of my favorite atheists is (was, sadly) Christopher Hitchens who, by all accounts, was a wonderful family man and was one among myriad examples. Incidentally, his debate with William Lane Craig was not only entertaining but intellectually stimulating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KBx4vvlbZ8 . The point I am making is that if you don’t have an organizing moral principle – i.e. God – you may have morals/values but, they will, necessarily, be of your own making and choice. Here in lies the problem relative to the issue at hand – going naked to purchase groceries (to use an extreme example). I can wear whatever I want if I am the sole source of what is right and moral for me. Another person, disagreeing with my choice, has nothing to appeal to outside of himself. The report of your personal experience is easy to accept. There are many wonderful, moral people about. Translate your “personal experience” into say, a society overrun with radical Islam, and your personal experience would be far different from the one you are now enjoying. Why? Because your and their ideology would collide. At that point, you have nothing to appeal to but your personal ethic, overrun by overwhelming power. A moral outside of our personal experience dictates against such aggression. Which gets us back to clothing choices. I do not get to dress however I choose because of my personal ethic – why else would there be laws against nudist and other lewd displays in public? By the ethic you seem to be espousing, as soon as there are enough votes to change the law, it would be right and moral to wear anything or nothing in public. Regardless of how libertine society chooses to become, the truth will not change. But, again, I fully embrace the reality that many people who don’t believe in God are truly wonderful people.

          I hope this helps.

  22. Bethany m 3 years ago

    Amen! thank you for this article. Raw, honest, solid truth!

  23. Heather 3 years ago

    So true, Matt! We have 3 boys and though they are young, we will face the same thing. It’s so sad and I admit, it angers me. I would have never dressed the way some girls do when I was in middle or high school, not even college. I don’t do it now. Parents have failed to teach girls the value they are worth and that they are worth more than how they dress. Thank you for writing this!

  24. Vicki 3 years ago

    Hi I found this to be very edifying. It reminds of a school I used to work in, it was special school for children and young people up to the age of 19 with severe learning disabilities. Some of the young boys were aware of their sexuality and were asked to dress modestly with emphasis put on low cut tops as the young people would find that very attractive and very difficult to deal with.
    I read a blog a few weeks ago, “why I don’t allow my 4 year old daughter to wear spaghetti straps.” these were both very good reads for me as a mother of a boy who is almost 2 and a 5 month old daughter. To teach our children to protect their bodies even before they have the feminine curves (for daughters) thanks for this post, and all the others I see.
    God bless you.

  25. heather 3 years ago

    Thanks for this encouraging article. THere’s a lie out there in the world that women have the right to dress scantily and if someone has a problem with it, well, it’s their problem. And for men, they have to portray this attitude that they don’t struggle with what women wear (or don’t wear) or they go to the other extreme and droll over women and behave in a juvenile way. Both sexes are caught in the lie and both shift the blame. its sad that we can’t have an open discussion about it without being “Judgemental.” This, however, is the world apart from CHrist. SO thank you for speaking truth in love.

  26. JT 3 years ago

    In the hope of encouraging you and your son, I’d like to offer up a couple of quotes from Dan Phillips over at Pyromaniacs that I have found to be helpful in keeping the proper perspective and priorities: “Men shouldn’t let our eyes rest anywhere our hands shouldn’t”; and “Looking may just be looking, but doing starts with a look.”

  27. Justin joseph 3 years ago

    Thank you Matt for sharing both Veronica’s testimony as well as your own biblically-informed thoughts. i whole-heartedly agree with everything. and..if you don’t mind my sharing :), below is something I penned several months ago along the same lines.

    http://bit.ly/1CW1w8f

  28. Summer 3 years ago

    It’s sad to see how our society has become so blind to truth and virtue. The internet world of people arguing 100+ comments long is ridiculous, sad really. I barely looked over Veronica’s blog post and find it so sweet and honest, something that an individual should be allowed to write openly about… and our cultures average reaction of anger/offense to it shows where their heart truly is, blind to truth(man or woman).
    When someone has received Jesus as their personal savior, and begins to make purifying changes to their lives due to the holy spirit’s leading, it’s not a shock when the lost and dying world screams “what are you doing, have you lost your mind?!” I know that this has happened many times in my life on a smaller scale, and I know it won’t end any time soon…. as a believer, I’m “Taking up my cross and following christ”, not this world.
    The topic of modesty is a hot one, and i’m not surprised, people don’t like to feel conviction, they like to stay comfortable in their sin. Bottom line, all that matters is what god says in his word, and i have chosen to trust him instead of humanity.
    Thank you MR. & Mrs. Jacobson, all your articles are convicting and edifying – keep ’em coming! God bless! 🙂

  29. I completely agree with you, Matthew! Scripture is clear that we are not to cause a brother to stumble. As a woman, the way I dress has an incredible potential to do just that. I would never want to be the cause of a man (or a young boy!) to stumble due to my thoughtlessness.

    I think this issue causes such contention because no one wants to be told what to do or how to dress. Like you said, however, the day will come when we all will be required to give an answer. For me, I want HIS response to be, “well done, my good and faithful servant” so I am careful in this area.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Laura 3 years ago

      AMEN, Heather….could NOT have said it better myself!!! 🙂

    • Claire 2 years ago

      I agree! I dress the way I do because I do not want another brother or sister in Christ to stumble. I wish young men would have these same policies, because as a young woman seeing boys my age dressed without a shirt isn’t to most modest site.

  30. Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

    As I mentioned in my article, we live in community, which implies responsibilities toward each other. I also mentioned my purposeful approach with my young men, teaching them to respect and value women.

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